Srinagar: Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) demanded an immediate bailout package for the Kashmir industrial sector.
As per the statement issued by the FCIK, a delegation of FCIK flagged the existential crises being faced by the existing industry in the region to the visiting Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Home Affairs to Kashmir and demanded immediate bailout.
The FCIK delegation led by its President ShahidKamili appraised the crisis situation to the PSC during their interaction with them at SKICC.
Kamili informed the committee about the withdrawal of all concessions to the Kashmir industry; which was already inching towards closure due to the situation over the years followed by the severe blow due to Covid lockdown.
“The marketing support which would give a cushion to the Kashmir industry has been withdrawn. It is becoming increasingly unviable and difficult to continue operation of our units which are not able to compete in the market after various concessions enjoyed by the industry in J&K were withdrawn. If the current business ecosystem persists, I am afraid J&K will see more closure of manufacturing units,” he informed Parliamentarians.
FCIK President cited Toll Tax, Entry Tax, Vat remission, freight subsidy, Price preference, Purchase Preferences as the major factors/ protections which were granted to J&K as special package under J&K Industrially Backward Status. Since then industry has deteriorated and not progressed
Calling the allowing of local purchases from Government e-Market portal in J&K as last nail in the coffin of ailing industry in J&K, Kamili informed the delegation that in absence of the incentives, the cost of input of raw material has increased multifold with the result the cost of production has hiked up beyond selling price of other states.
“The Industry is facing open competition with the rest of the country whose working conditions, working hours are much better, availability of cheap raw material and business ecosystem is favorable,” he told the delegation.
He also said that the Industry since last decade has not revived after receiving major blows by Floods of 2014, 2016 unrest, 2019 situation and suffered severe blows by lockdowns imposed during two Covid waves.
The existing industry is in such bad shape that every single account has been uploaded with four restructuring (one account is paying interest on four additional accounts), he said.
President FCIK sought a special package for interest subvention on account of the 2nd wave of Covid besides consideration of corporate financing due to huge loss on account of lockdowns.
Enumerating the much needed reformative measures for survival and revival of existing industry, Kamili demanded electricity demand charges should be waived off from August 2019, GST reimbursement should be made hassle free, fast track basis and reimbursement should be also within a limited time frame.
To safeguard local industry and make its production competitive, he also demanded Toll Tax, Alternate Tax.
RBI should give relaxation and reimburse of interest charged on account of rehabilitation packages of flood 2014, unrest 2016 on the same lines as were announced by Apex court 2nd wave Moratoriums, he said.
FCIK President also informed the PSC that many initiatives were taken by the present administration led by LG Manoj Sinha for industry but more initiatives are need from GOI to revive the existing industry
FCIK while appreciating the PM package of Rs 28400 crore for new industry demanded that the package should first be applied to present ailing industry to be revived, which can function as a fertilizer to this dying sector which includes service sector like hotel and tourism too.